Nova Scotia

UFO sightings in Nova Scotia took off in 2020

Most Canadian provinces, including Nova Scotia, more UFO sightings than usual in 2020. A leading Canadian researcher isn't sure why.

'There's always a certain percentage at the end of every year that we can't explain,' says researcher

Tim Rose picked up an unusual image on his security camera last month. (Tim Rose)

Canadians looking to the skies in 2020 reported more UFO sightings than usual.

As recently as a month ago, Tim Rose of Williamswood, N.S., captured a strange string of lights on his home security camera.  

"I'm very skeptical about all that stuff but this has me puzzled," said Rose. "I can't figure it out."

Rose is not alone. Just about every province reported a significant increase in UFO sightings and that includes Nova Scotia.

A report released last month by Ufology Research in Winnipeg stated that UFO sightings across the country increased by 46 per cent in 2020.

Although the study found that the most reported sightings were in urban centres in Quebec and Ontario, the Maritimes also saw an uptick, said Canadian UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski.

"[The] Maritimes are typically five per cent of the total UFO reports for Canada in any given year but for 2020 it was at least double that, around 10 per cent, which is very curious," Rutkowski said.

Facebook group has more than 7,000 members

In addition to doing research at the University of Manitoba, Rutkowski also helps run a Facebook group called UFO Sightings in Nova Scotia. The group has more than 7,000 members.

He said he's seen a lot more people reaching out to him about UFO sightings.

"In Nova Scotia there were 21 reports in 2019 but 63 in 2020," said Rutkowski.

Nova Scotia has a history with UFOs dating back to the 1967 Shag Harbour incident. Multiple witnesses reported seeing bright lights in the sky and an object crash into the water.

Rutkowski said there were 1,243 reported sightings in Canada last year, the third highest number since he started tracking the figures in the 1980s.

Why are people reporting more sightings?

Rutkowski said he's tempted to suggest the reason for the increase is the pandemic. But he said the increase began early in 2020.

"We're not sure what started it off, but certainly by the time we got into March, April, May, the trend of a large increase in UFO sightings was very, very noticeable, and especially noticeable in the Maritimes."

Rutkowski said many of the reports received last year were solved.

"A lot of people were reporting UFO reports to us that turned out to be the SpaceX satellite," he said.

"They appear as sort of long strings of pearls moving across the sky. These lights seem very bright yet connected, somehow following the same path."

Rutkowski said there are things people can do when it comes to distinguishing a legitimate UFO from a plane or drone.

"We like to know what direction it's going, what time, what date," he said. "It helps narrow down whether there were flights overhead at that time, whether there were satellites, whether there were fireballs or some astronomical [event] in the sky at that same time."

He said many of the reports were determined to be drones or stars. But some of the reports could not be explained.

"There's always a certain percentage at the end of every year that we can't explain," he said. "Last year, that was actually quite high, around 13 per cent. Usually it's hovering around two to five per cent."

Rutkowski can't fully explain last year's rise. But he's encouraging people to keep looking up.

"It could have something to do with more people not going to indoor venues so they were spending more time looking up appreciating the night sky, which I think is a very good thing."